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Domain: Tirol / Silveretta
Author: Killeagh - although some of it is taken from Deliaskis' report from January 2006 - this is just an update on that report
Date: 24th February to 3rd March 2007
Our holiday: I organised a group of 16 people from beginners (first trip) to intermediates (upto 7th trip)- all skiers
Website : www.ischgl.com is the tourist office website, www.ischgl.at is also similar.
Basics : Ischgl lies in the Paznaun valley in the west of the Austrian Tirol close to the border with Switzerland (the skiing is cross-border). The nearest â€˜well-knownâ€™ resort is probably St Anton. We flew from Dublin to Friedrichshafen and got 2 taxis (8 per taxi) from there to Ischgl with firstname.lastname@example.org or website: www.Alex-Taxi.de at a cost of â‚¬1000 return (ie â‚¬250 each way for each taxi - NOTE: it is â‚¬250 each way even if there is only one person in the car - so this is really only an option if you have a group with 8/16/24 etc or you can pay more!!). It took us three hours to get from Friedrichshafen to Ischgl - the traffic was extremely bad as there was a couple of accidents in tunnels - so we took the scenic route! Other convenient airports are Innsbruck (Deliaskis "1.5 hours in a taxi", although I have heard it's longer - depends on traffic and road conditions I suppose), Zurich (2 others meeting us in Ischgl flew from London to Zurich - got a 3 hour train from Zurich to Landeck and then got a 20 min taxi frrom Landeck to Ischgl). Flying to Munich is also an option and the transfer is apparently about 3 hours .
Lift system : Ischgl was in the DMS&S magazine last year quoted as having one of the most modern, fast and efficient lift systems in the whole of Europe. It is almost exclusively chairs (most of them high-speed), there are a couple of draglifts (button lifts) and T-bar lifts - although they are not too common . Access to the area is via one of the three gondolas which leave the various points of town. We used the Silveretta Bahn gondola every morning and there was no queue if you got there before 9:10am. Between 9:10am and 10am there could be a 10 - 15 min queue - there was only one morning we arrived after 9:00 but we only had to queue 10 mins. When you get up to the ski area there are very little or no queues, unless the conditions are bad and they close some of the lifts (as with all resorts really).
The terrain : Deliaskis "The lifts access over 200km of piste", but in the brouchures they quote 600km - either way there's plenty to cover, and you would be doing really well to see it all in 6 days. We decided to get lessons for the first 3 days (they were so enjoyabke that we went for a 4th day) - the instructor was excellent and took us on alot of off-piste - it was more of a guided tour of the resort with some lessons rather that all lessons - well worth it and if/when I go back I'll probably do the same again.
What Deliaskis wrote here in their report I will have to change (apologies Deliaskis):
To get to the Swiss there are two options:
1. ski down red 80 - not an enjoyable run as it's narrow and on the morning we went on it there were alot of people and as Deliaskis mentioned there are a couple of flats bits on it.
2. I think the other option is to get chairlift B3 and ski down blue 62 - we did it on the lesson and it was much more enjoyable
3. there are probably other options that we missed aswell!
For skiing back down - red 1 and red 1a get very packed between 4 and 5 - what we found was to ski down red 7, (red 7a was not open) get the chair lift between 7 and 7a upto black 4 (just the end of it) and ski down red 5 to Mittlestation where we had no choice but to go onto red 1 - and try our best to avoid people (definitly not very enjoyable)
Again what Deliaskis wrote here in their report I will have to change (apologies again Deliaskis):
We had 4 beginners with us and all 4 of them seemed to pick up the skiing much quicker than any of the other years that beginners went with us (and we have had a couple of beginners each year for the last 4 years). Admittidely they did not get to do even half the slopes but on the last day some of them were going down black 21 - with one one or two falls (if you're not falling you're not trying hard enough ). Ischgl is not aimed at beginners but they certainly enjoyed it - the only problem is that if/when they go anywhere else it will probably not be as good as Ischgl
The snow : On the Sunday the conditions were good - to say that most of Europe is sufferng from a lack of snow, the conditions in Ishcgl were better than expected (although no snow in the village and a couple of green fields, but once we got up the gondola it was good. Then Sunday evening it started to snow and snowed for 2 days solid - so much powder it was brilliant and the lifts stayed open. Then it rained in the village on Tuesday night , but the conditions on the mountain were still good
Off-piste : There is plenty of off-piste, either from the plateau or through the wooded areas. As mentioned out instructor took us on alot of off-piste - if the conditions allow it it's definitely worth exploring.
The resort : A bit of "history": according to the barman in the Eagle pub, Ischgl is owned and run by a consortium of the families living in Ischgl - there is no way they will leave any outsiders buy and of the land/businesses in the town - they also own 51% of the Swiss side - whether this is true or not, all the hotels/restaurants/ski shops all have very high standards.
Food : There are plenty of restaurants in the village, from pizzerias to traditional Austrian, to general alpine cuisine, to quite modern styles so something for all tastes. The â€˜Salz & Pfefferâ€™ restaurant by the lift station is quite modern in style and very popular - the only problem is that you cannot make a reservation - you have to call in and wait for a table - this was kindof awkard with a large group. Where we ate in the village included:
The Ice Bar (or the place with the waiving bear outside) - this is a great spot for apres-ski - then they kick you out around 7 and turn it into a restaurant - the food and service was very good.
Salz and Pfeffer: as mentioned above - no reservations taken - although the food was very good when we did go there (separated the group)
Steak House - beside the Living room bar - lovely food but a bit expensive.
Hotel Sonne: the service was not great (one waiter looking after alot of tables) - although it was worth the wait - most people thought that this was the best restaurant we went to - the food was excellent and they have live music downstairs from 9 (not the best music though )
Trofanna Tenne - again excellent food - a quite spot but it suited us as we could go in as a group and get a table easily.
Can't think of the other places we went to - but in all the food was excellent. One note: avoid the restaurant at the top of the Silveretta gondola - the food is very poor and expensive - go to the one slightly down the slope from it (think it was called Alpenhause
Accommodation : Most of us stayed in Garni Schmidt (â‚¬45 per night per person)- and 4 stayed at the Tanzer (â‚¬70 per night per person - I think they ripped us off as it was advertised as â‚¬60 on their site)- both were beside each other - very pleased all round.
Costs: cheap Ryanair Flights, cheap transfers, cheap enough accommodation (great value for what we paid for it)
The meals out each night were good value in all places except the steak house.
The expnsive part of Ischgl I thought was the cost of the lift pass - even the VIP liftpass - but in the end it was really worth it - pistes are so well looked after.
Conclusion: Brilliant resort - could not knock it for anything. Aleady thinking of going back again next year - a first for the group to go back to somewhere we've already been.
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Last edited by A snowHead on Wed 2-01-08 21:32; edited 1 time in total